Download: Major North American Energy Company Chooses MatrikonOPC to Connect Disparate Control Systems

"MatrikonOPC products are easy to configure and have been the best of all the OPC products we use."

OPC Driver In January 2003, a major North American energy company was involved in a plant expansion in Texas City, Texas that required them to integrate new equipment and replace old, legacy equipment. Their existing communication infrastructure was troublesome and complicated to modify, and they wanted to implement a new infrastructure that tied all of their disparate systems together and simultaneously minimized costs and integration time.

One option was to use traditional proprietary interfaces and write custom ‘C’ programs. While this solution would work, it was neither cheap nor easy to do - not to mention that it did not allow for future expansion. They turned to MatrikonOPC for help. Based on past experience and MatrikonOPC’s reputation, the energy company felt confident that they could meet their objectives. After reviewing the options, it was determined that even though no OPC existed in the plant at the time, it was still significantly cheaper and quicker to integrate OPC than to work with the existing communication infrastructure.

The three control systems being integrated were ABB’s Process Portal B DCS, a Triconex safety system and a Bailey INFI 90 DCS. All systems needed to interface with the plant’s main visualization application, ABB’s Process Portal Operator Interface, an OPC client.

To make the connection between the control systems and the ABB Portal Interface, the MatrikonOPC Server for Triconex, an OPC Server for Bailey INFI 90 and an OPC Server for ABB Optima were installed and configured. Because OPC is plug & play, integration time was significantly reduced.

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The MatrikonOPC Data Manager Utility, an application designed to facilitate the transfer of data between two or more OPC Severs, was also used extensively on the project. OPC is based on a client / server architecture. As such, OPC Servers can not share data between each other. With MatrikonOPC’s Data Manager acting as a double-headed client, users can easily transfer OPC data from one server to another.

The project was a complete success. 2,000 points were connected and polled every 60 seconds. Integration time was cut in half and the hardware costs were reduced by 75%. Additionally, every time processes needed to be modified due to normal refinery activity, additional cost savings were realized; OPC technology has enabled plant personnel to easily modify and add additional functionality as required.

"MatrikonOPC products are easy to configure and have been the best of all the OPC products we use. MatrikonOPC software really helped solve a lot of our communication problems. Needless to say, MatrikonOPC lived up to their reputation – we are very satisfied with our OPC solution."

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